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J Am Dent Assoc. 1995 Oct;126(10):1384-93.

Assessing the contribution of anaerobic microflora of the tongue to oral malodor.

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Department of Biologic Materials Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA.


Research suggests that the tongue plays an important role in the production of oral malodor. To investigate the role of tongue surface characteristics and oral bacteria in halitosis development, the authors tested associations between odor measurements, volatile sulfur compound levels, periodontal parameters, tongue surface characteristics, presence of trypsinlike activity of organisms on the tongue and teeth and bacteriological parameters in 16 participants with complaints of oral malodor. The data indicate that the proteolytic, anaerobic flora residing on the tongue plays an essential role in the development of halitosis.

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